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jazzfan
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Sooloos Review

Although there is a related thread on this topic over in the General Rants 'n Raves section of the forum that thread does not address several of the issues that I have with this review. That other thread

First, the Sooloos units were provided to both reviewers with over 2000 CDs worth of flac files no them. These flac files do not contain any DRM and could easily be copied by the reviewers to their own hard drives. Isn't this a very clear voliation of copyright infringement since Sooloos is not the copyright holder of the material that they made available to the reviewers? And more importantly by providing the reviewers with a pre-loaded system Sooloos has very cleverly spared these reviewers both the time of having to rip their own music collection or the expense of having their music collections ripped for them. Therefore, for many buyers the overall cost of the Sooloos system can actually be much higher than its already high list price once the cost of the Sooloos ripping service is added to the total price. Having a reasonable amount of first hand experience with ripping and tagging music from CDs for use in a music server system I feel that both reviewers may have had additional comments and concerns regarding this process had they had to rip the 2000+ CDs instead of being handed such a nice neat prepackaged system.

Second, neither reviewer seems to have any prior experience with music server systems and no comparisons to any of the other music server systems currently available was made. Instead the Sooloos system was compared to CD and SACD players which would be okay if there were no other music servers available but does a major disservice to the readers since many other music server choices are available.

Third, the Sooloos form factor may have been clearly described but how easy or hard it may be to integrate these three devices into one's listening room was not discussed. A 17" touch screen needs a some place to stay and since it is connected by a wire to the other two pieces of the system I would assume that placing the touch screen within easy reach of one's listening position may not be an option.

Plus a couple of very minor issues:

I don't know how Sooloos does it but finding high resolution cover art via the Internet is next to impossible. And by high resolution I mean a resolution greater than the maximum of 500 pixels by 500 pixels that cover art from Amazon tops out at and with a maximum file size of 50KB, hardly high resolution. Also the information obtained from AMG, while first rate, is not always correct nor is complete information always available, such as artist bios, reviews and recording information like personnel, producer, etc., for many less well known recordings (like a lot of the jazz I so dearly love).

No mention was made of how one would go about adding flac files of music sourced from something other than a CD, such as downloaded music or music converted from vinyl and analog tape. And no mention was made of how the Sooloos system handles, or if it even can handle, music encoded in any of the many other formats available, such as Apple lossless, APE, WAV, MP3 or Windows Media lossless. Inquiring minds want to know.

RGibran
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
First, the Sooloos units were provided to both reviewers with over 2000 CDs worth of flac files no them. These flac files do not contain any DRM and could easily be copied by the reviewers to their own hard drives. Isn't this a very clear voliation of copyright infringement since Sooloos is not the copyright holder of the material that they made available to the reviewers?

WOW! Isn

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review

Besides, if you're paying $10k for a friggin' computer, then chances are you'll pay for the music as well.

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

RG,

Man you really know how to hurt a guy

I was only pointing this out since it was mentioned by both reviewers and published in an established and well respected magazine. I did not mean to imply that either reviewer would copy any of the music but rather trying to point out what a gray area the whole preloaded music package was in. And I'm also aware that Sooloos was only lending them the music and was not selling them the music but then people involved with file sharing don't "sell" the music either.

For the record: I don't dislike the concept of DRM and copy protection, I just don't like the way they have been implicated thus far. I also don't dislike the record industry or for that matter the RIAA, I just am against the way they both have reacted to the changes that digital technology have brought to the way music is distributed.

And more importantly, I would appreciate it if you refrained from making accusations about my involvement in illegal activities or I'll have to send my Uncle Vito around to have a talk with you

RGibran
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
Besides, if you're paying $10k for a friggin' computer, then chances are you'll pay for the music as well.

Yep, you really have to be innovators to take $2,000.00 worth of perfectly good off the shelf computer parts and turn em in to a 10K POS!

RG

Jon Iverson
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Re: Sooloos Review

The Sooloos did come loaded, so to speak, but one of the first things I did was delete a huge swath of music just so I could import hundreds of CDs on my own - I think mention is made of this in the review. Also, turns out I have most of the music that came pre-loaded in the system and have not downloaded a single album from the Sooloos to another HD or disc (if you must know). I've been a part-time radio DJ for 30 years now and can get just about any disc I need - I buy the rest.

Second, I've been using music servers in one form or another for about 8 years now (including a 6 month stint with a Sonos system last year and a visit to their headquarters in 2006). In fact I first wrote about the concept over 11 years ago in Stereophile. Other than home brew, there is only one other system currently available that equals the functionality of the Sooloos, and we'll write about it as soon as we get a review sample. I've also covered the music server beat at CES for several years running now. During the review process, my trusty Apple laptop was used even though it does not have a touch screen - though I now control iTunes on it with my iPod Touch.

Third, the touchscreen sits on the cabinet next to the preamp. From the listening seat I control the Sooloos using the iPod Touch (as mentioned in the review). I've added a photo of the setup in the Galleries. I found the Sooloos touchscreen on the cabinet far more easy to use than my laptop - it never moved around and everyone in the house went straight for it like they would for the CD stacks. Only this was better in everyone's opinion, especially for setting up a playlist, then selecting the input on the preamp and setting volume.

There are several options for finding art. The Sooloos automatically sources from AMG, but as mentioned in the review, I found some sites that had consistently hi-rez art for just about everything I added, including the obscure bootlegs. Try rateyourmusic.com for example or Google "album cover art."

The ControlPC program allows you to import files that you've downloaded or ripped. Everything ends up as a FLAC file on the Store however, even if it started as a measly MP3.

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

Thank you for your response, Jon.

I do apologize for not realizing that you have such extensive experience with music servers but it was not apparent from reading the review.

However, now that I have your attention I would like to know if the Sooloos system has been able to solve some of the problems many people appear to have with the limitations of the current file tagging system within flac files and trying to tag "classical" music with any degree of consistency. How does the Sooloos system handle such things as a recording of a Beethoven Piano Concerto where one has the composer, the composition, the performers, the movements, etc.? Information which does not easily lend itself to the currently available tagging structure.

And as I stated in an earlier post, I was not trying to imply that you or Kal would copy any of files from the Sooloos Store unit but rather what are the implications of Sooloos lending a unit filled with music that did not have copy protection at a time when such matters are fast becoming hot button issues.

Jon Iverson
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Re: Sooloos Review

Good question - so I just walked over and took two shots of the screen after entering "Beethoven" in the search and calling up the first result.

Looks like the "artist" is Ludwig van Beethoven for all the albums (you can see the compleat list on the right) and the work is the album title with performer in parenthesis. I've also included a photo after clicking on the "Credits" tab so you can see how the rest is listed for this particular disc.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
However, now that I have your attention I would like to know if the Sooloos system has been able to solve some of the problems many people appear to have with the limitations of the current file tagging system within flac files and trying to tag "classical" music with any degree of consistency. How does the Sooloos system handle such things as a recording of a Beethoven Piano Concerto where one has the composer, the composition, the performers, the movements, etc.? Information which does not easily lend itself to the currently available tagging structure.

The answer, I am afraid, is not well unless you carefully edit (and, perhaps, pervert) the menu structure by using the ControlPC utility. I reported on this in my comments but, due to space constraints, they were compacted a bit.


Quote:
And as I stated in an earlier post, I was not trying to imply that you or Kal would copy any of files from the Sooloos Store unit but rather what are the implications of Sooloos lending a unit filled with music that did not have copy protection at a time when such matters are fast becoming hot button issues.

Trust.

Kal

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:

Quote:
Besides, if you're paying $10k for a friggin' computer, then chances are you'll pay for the music as well.

Yep, you really have to be innovators to take $2,000.00 worth of perfectly good off the shelf computer parts and turn em in to a 10K POS!

RG

Exactly! Or even 10k Pot of Gold. This is one of those things I genuinely don't get: It's a damn computer. You can get one for under a grand and have it do the same thing. Sure, it won't have a touch screen, that may be an extra $300, but with just a little bit of effort, not much, just a little bit, you can have the same thing for one tenth the price and that's if you don't want to leverage your existing computer.

How ridiculous can we get?

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

Jon,

Thanks for the information and photos. I have a much better sense of how the Sooloos handles "tagging" - it basically creates a meta-data file for each CD built up from information obtained from various web sites and databases. The meta-data appears to formatted in a structure similar to and compatible with that of AMG (All Music Guide).

Have you ever tried to search for a particular classical recording on AMG? I have and don't it find quite as easy as finding a jazz or popular music recording and so I'm not so sure I would agree with way that they structure the data base. But then I'm more of hands on type when it comes to cataloging my music collection. I should also mention that from what I know none of the other music servers out there have music library meta-data anywhere nearly as comprehensive as the Sooloos and I would have liked to have seen some comparisons given in the review.

In spite of my minor concerns with the Sooloos database structure, the people over at Sooloos really did their homework when it came to the user interface. Now I wonder if someone can just make Sooloos aware of the fact the there just might be a decent market out there for the software that runs their system. The ability to have that much meta-data about the recordings in my music library and have it linked to/with the other recordings in the library is worth a good deal but still does not justify the $10,000 price tag for what is basically a $2,000+/- computer with limited functionality. Granted their user interface is state of the art but is it worth the extra $8,000?

And another round of thank yous should be given to Stereophile and their entire staff for giving the readers such direct access to the people involved in the magazine via this forum. Great job!

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
Exactly! Or even 10k Pot of Gold. This is one of those things I genuinely don't get: It's a damn computer. You can get one for under a grand and have it do the same thing. Sure, it won't have a touch screen, that may be an extra $300, but with just a little bit of effort, not much, just a little bit, you can have the same thing for one tenth the price and that's if you don't want to leverage your existing computer.

How ridiculous can we get?

Alex,

As I just wrote in my previous post, from what I tell from the review and Jon's additional comments, the Sooloos user interface is head and shoulders above anything else currently available. The fact that one can only get this interface as part of the complete Sooloos system is unfortunate but until the rest of the field catches up or until Sooloos decides to make the software available separately, Sooloos can charge a very hefty premium for their system. It makes no difference how much effort you put into trying to roll your own music server system, without the Sooloos user interface you will not have anything nearly as comprehenisve as the Sooloos system. I've been using Slim Device's open source SqueezeCenter to run my music server for the past 18+ months so I do have a little experience with music servers, their music library functionality and their user interfaces.

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review

$7k premium for an interface??? For $7k, you can hire a programmer to write your custom interface and sell it back to Sooloos or whoever else. Don't believe me? I'll put your money where my mouth is: For $7k, I will have a programmer write you an interface that will be just as good if not better than Sooloos.

Jon Iverson
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Re: Sooloos Review

The pricing issue needs to be addressed because I see a lot of misinformation here and elsewhere about what you get for $10,000 with a Sooloos system (the Ensemble system is several thousand less for the exact same touchscreen and software and 1TB of music btw.)

Seems many people like to compare apples and oranges and boil the Sooloos down to just "a computer that plays music". So is an iPod Touch at $299 and it has a touchscreen too. But try sorting through even 2,000 albums on an iPod or in iTunes (or the app of your choice) on a $2,000 PC.

For me, elimating the mouse is a big deal. Maybe this isn't a big deal for everyone, but with thousands of albums it was a big enough problem for me that I can't ever go back to a mouse. I get that not everyone values the difference that Sooloos offers, but don't fool yourself into thinking that a $2000 PC rig does the same thing. It simply doesn't.

Also - Sooloos has a medical grade touchscreen that is very quick and bright and is built to last and comes in a metal case. This is not a $300 plastic touchscreen. I've seen a lot of homebrew systems, and nothing works this fast and puts you this deep into the middle of your music library. Try it and see - my guess is that if you already have thousands of albums on a server, you'll get right away why the Sooloos is brilliant.

Oh and AlexO - you are dead wrong about creating a $7k "interface" that is equivalent. First, take the time to understand what Sooloos really is (interface and everything else that makes it so slick) and then find a real software engineer to give you a quote. I'll wait.

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:

Oh and AlexO - you are dead wrong about creating a $7k "interface" that is equivalent. First, take the time to understand what Sooloos really is (interface and everything else that makes it so slick) and then find a real software engineer to give you a quote. I'll wait.

Ok, I'll bite. What is it "really"? It's a computer, most likely a Linux based system with a custom interface with business functions pretty much like any other music library software with the exception that it interfaces directly with a service that provides tags and album art and pulls that information automatically. How am I doing so far?

As far as the screen is concerned, $7k will get me about 23 replacement plastic screens should the need to replace them arise.

Jon Iverson
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Re: Sooloos Review

That's not biting, that's licking.

Have a software engineer take a look at the Sooloos in person, and have them draw you up a quote. I'm serious. I'm also guessing you've never seen the Sooloos in person.

But what is cool about this is that someone somewhere will be inspired by Sooloos and start in on how to make this better/faster/cheaper --- we'll all benefit.

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review

Give me a week or so. I'll do just that.

Seems like the Microsoft Media Center will do just that. I'll do some more research, but it seems like there's no reason to even write a custom interface.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
That's not biting, that's licking.


Thanks, Jon, for all of your comments and explanations. I appreciate learning more about the system and how it works.

Great thread.

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review


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Give me a week or so. I'll do just that.

Seems like the Microsoft Media Center will do just that. I'll do some more research, but it seems like there's no reason to even write a custom interface.

Wrong. Microsoft Media Center, like iTunes, is limited by it's own internal library, i.e. music store, if they don't sell, it doesn't exist. Sure you could find some cumbersome way to add the data manually but Microsoft's software is not open source and cannot be modified beyond some basic hacks. Media Center isn't quite ready for prime time, not by a long shot. Right now the Sooloos functionality and user interface are top of the heap. My critique of the review had more to do with the lack comparisons and experience with ripping CD then about the user interface. In any event whatever questions I had about the user interface have been answered by the reviewers in this thread.

Oh, and as for the issue of tagging classical music, no automated or even semi-automated music library software seems to have worked that one out yet so although that, as per Kal's comments, even includes Sooloos, the Sooloos interface is still way ahead of everything else.

What one has to ask oneself is: Does this great user interface merit the hefty price tag? Based on your comments, I would say that your answer is no and I would have to agree with you. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the Sooloos system can be duplicated for less money. What it means is that one can put together a perfectly functional music server system with very capable music library software that sounds as good as the Sooloos for substantially less money but it will not have the same functionality or user interface as the Sooloos.

Jon Iverson
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Re: Sooloos Review

"Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the Sooloos system can be duplicated for less money. What it means is that one can put together a perfectly functional music server system with very capable music library software that sounds as good as the Sooloos for substantially less money but it will not have the same functionality or user interface as the Sooloos. "

Yes nicely said - I would add that the whole value of the Sooloos package is greater than the sum of its parts - which is a point many miss.

I wouldn't even try to convince everyone that this is what they need - only that if you place a lot of emphasis on the potential for great sound, along with the interface and usability, this is the one to look at.

Also, the bigger your library of music, the more the Sooloos value becomes apparent.

What does concern me, however, are the inaccurate potshots taken at the product based on not understanding what it really provides or consists of.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Sooloos Review

I wonder how long it will take the Sooloos folks to rethink the switching power supply...the weakest link...if there really is one. I might argue over the price, but even an old guy like me thinks that the Sooloos is a very sweet device.

Since it does run hot it will be interesting to see what issues that brings up. I'm sure JI will keeps us posted as to his experience...a follow-up next August 2009 will be a good read.

Who knows what Sooloos will ofter by then? I guess the biggest issue will be to make sure you back up all your music files?

I am curious as to why we are not seeing more FireWire outputs on this type of digital audio gear? This is an important part of the pro audio markets for interfaces.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
You can get one for under a grand and have it do the same thing. Sure, it won't have a touch screen, that may be an extra $300, but with just a little bit of effort, not much, just a little bit, you can have the same thing for one tenth the price and that's if you don't want to leverage your existing computer.

How ridiculous can we get?

Full size touch screens of decent quality..come in at about $1500.00 each.

Components that don't fail..and have the right kind of quality..COST. cases of great looks and quality..COST.

As for retail computer sales, they have margins of like, 5% over costs. If they are lucky.

Audio margins, as you know from 'that thread' are considerably different. As for 5% margins, I wouldn't even bother waking up for less than a 50% margin.

And, as for audio on computers, it is not all that easy to get a computer to spit out glitch free audio-all the time. It has to do with the way that audio is implemented on PC's. Bus handling and prioritizing can be an issue. This machine also involves custom software. A good media server HAS to be like a machine where you can do something like 'wash the dishes' with the simple press of a button with NOTHING ever going wrong.

As a person with a minor (but extant) programming background (pascal, C, C++, assembler, etc)..I can tell you now, that putting together a machine that can be as complex as today's PC gear, and then putting such complex handling issues in the software/hardware situation..and having it come up permanently 'glitch free' when people are pressing buttons!!!..well, that's a near impossible task.

I do know what I'm talking about, I was one of the few people who was responsible for the creation of the first media servers that ever came into being. (I was one of the pioneering folks who accidentally ended up, through the progress of PC's in the early 2000's..slitting the throat of Faroudja, with the creation of workable and 'Scaling' High quality HTPC's) Even though I don't like digital audio. I always give an idea or concept that looks promising, a fair shake. For me,the convenience is not outweighed by the quality loss of digital. I'm a slave to the 'best' in music. Not the least, as the MP3 crowd seems to expect out of life. Oh well. Cow quality for the cows, I guess - Paint yourself with the colour you feel is best.

I'm glad you don't run a company Alex. Your expectations of what reality would be - and then actually end up being - would slam an airplane into the ground in seconds.

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
"Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the Sooloos system can be duplicated for less money. What it means is that one can put together a perfectly functional music server system with very capable music library software that sounds as good as the Sooloos for substantially less money but it will not have the same functionality or user interface as the Sooloos. "

Yes nicely said - I would add that the whole value of the Sooloos package is greater than the sum of its parts - which is a point many miss.

How would you quantify that?


Quote:

I wouldn't even try to convince everyone that this is what they need - only that if you place a lot of emphasis on the potential for great sound, along with the interface and usability, this is the one to look at.

This is a very non-committal statement, so it's very difficult to disagree with it.


Quote:

Also, the bigger your library of music, the more the Sooloos value becomes apparent.

What does concern me, however, are the inaccurate potshots taken at the product based on not understanding what it really provides or consists of.

The product consists of a computer loaded with Linux and most likely open source software that was modified with a custom interface and an internal database. Oh yeah, it also makes a connection with a database containing album art and pulls it as the file tags are created. What's there not to understand?

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Re: Sooloos Review


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The product consists of a computer loaded with Linux and most likely open source software that was modified with a custom interface and an internal database. Oh yeah, it also makes a connection with a database containing album art and pulls it as the file tags are created. What's there not to understand?

Alex,

This discussion is going nowhere so it's time to set a few things straight. In order to do that I need your honest answers to a few very basic questions.

1) Exactly how much experience do you have with music servers? Is it limited to screwing around with some downloaded and ripped flies on your PC and playing them back on your computer's speaker using a program like iTunes or Windows Media Player or have you used a music server as your primary source for your main audio system with hundreds or even thousands of CD ripped into your music library?

2) Have you worked with ripping, file tagging and meta-data (meaning things like cover art, reviews, bios and relationships to other artists and recordings) enough to understand that the Sooloos system goes way beyond the capacity of the current ripping, file tagging and meta-data systems?

3) Would you want to use a program like iTunes or Windows Media Player as the front end of a music library in an environment where the program was responsible for providing you with information similar to the information contained on the CD's front and back covers and booklet and where you had little or no access to the original CD?

4) Have you used the search functions of programs like iTunes or Windows Media Player to search through a large music library and have you used the Sooloos system?

Answer these questions and we'll continue.

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:

Alex,

This discussion is going nowhere so it's time to set a few things straight. In order to do that I need your honest answers to a few very basic questions.

1) Exactly how much experience do you have with music servers? Is it limited to screwing around with some downloaded and ripped flies on your PC and playing them back on your computer's speaker using a program like iTunes or Windows Media Player or have you used a music server as your primary source for your main audio system with hundreds or even thousands of CD ripped into your music library?

I have used my music server as my secondary system. I still use my CD player as my primary system. I don't like iTunes or Media player. I have used Foobar and Winamp with various plugins to organize my music library


Quote:

2) Have you worked with ripping, file tagging and meta-data (meaning things like cover art, reviews, bios and relationships to other artists and recordings) enough to understand that the Sooloos system goes way beyond the capacity of the current ripping, file tagging and meta-data systems?

Yes.


Quote:

3) Would you want to use a program like iTunes or Windows Media Player as the front end of a music library in an environment where the program was responsible for providing you with information similar to the information contained on the CD's front and back covers and booklet and where you had little or no access to the original CD?

Yes


Quote:

4) Have you used the search functions of programs like iTunes or Windows Media Player to search through a large music library and have you used the Sooloos system?

Yes to the first and no to the second.

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

Alex,

Thanks for the fast reply and also for understanding the nature of questions and not getting upset. Now that I have some idea of what your experience with music servers has been I can try and figure out why you don't feel that the Sooloos is more advanced than everything else available.

First, by a large music library I'm talking about a library with more than 2000 CDs.

Second, using the music server as one's primary source means there are no physical CDs lying around for you to refer to, similar to what the future may have in store for us if online music distribution really takes hold.

And third, I suggest that you download the Control:PC Setup Guide from this page: Sooloos Guide Take a close look the section "Editing Metadata" which begins on page 5. The amount of information contained within this metadata set goes well beyond what is contained within a simple flac file tag. The big bonus is that all the information is downloaded and entered automatically and stored on the hard drive along with the file thereby eliminating the need to have go online each time the information is needed.

Look I currently am using Slim Devices' SqueezeCenter as my music library and music server software along with several of their music streaming devices and I have a large music library. SqueezeCenter has nowhere near the capabilities of the Sooloos system and yet I feel that SqueezeCenter is as good as, if not better than, almost everything else available. Sure SC doesn't have the fancy graphics and snappy ui of something like iTunes but then I find iTunes' use of graphics to be just so much window dressing providing little added functionality or usability. In other words, cover art just doesn't float my boat.

Basically the fancy of graphics of the Sooloos ui doesn't really impress me, it's the metadata and how it is being used that really puts the Sooloos system in a class by itself. Not too long ago in a thread on the Slim Devices I made a few posts regarding the need for better metadata and better integration of that metadata by SqueezeCenter, little knowing that what I was imagining and hoping for is basically what the Sooloos system is doing. By the way the members over at the Slim Devices forum were/are so enthralled by the SqueezeBox Controller Controller and it's limited graphics that they had no idea of what I was talking about, with a typical response being "But the Controller has cover art!!" Well Whoopee freaking doo

It's time for music servers to move past limited file tags and tiny cover art and embrace the idea of metadata and create databases that work with this metadata thus unleashing the power of a computer based music system. It would appear that the people over at Sooloos have taken the first few steps in this direction and now I'm hoping that the others will follow. It too bad that the Sooloos system is well beyond my price range but I would pay $300 to $400 for a Windows version of their software that could be used to control my SqueezeBox and Transporter, I can dream, can't I.

RGibran
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Re: Sooloos Review

That fancy touch screen and GUI with all those fancy pictures are unique no doubt. But metadata grabbers can be no better than the databases they grab data from. The more information delivered automatically the better. Perhaps I am wrong, but from the scant user reports we have seen on this forum alone they still won

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review

I completely agree with you. It's a nice piece of software that does some nice things. I also agree with you that I would probably pay a few hundred dollars for the software. However, to pay $10k for what essentially amounts to a $1000-$2000 PC with $300 software doesn't exactly strike me as "great value".

I do think that their UI is very nice, the internal database is well thought out and implemented, but this is not a $10k deal.

And I still think that I can have this thing written for $7k.

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

Alex and RG,

I fully understand where you are coming from and many of the things that were pointed out are real issues and, in many cases, deal breakers. I'm glad that you stepped in and gave me a well deserved slap in the head since I beginning to sound like a Sooloos fanboy and I don't even own one.

You're right, the Sooloos system is far from prefect but it still has the slickest user interface and the best integration of metadata that I have seen. Is that worth the $10,000 asking price? I don't think so but there are others who might and I can understand their position. I just don't think that Jon or Kal oversold the product in the review, they just didn't clearly outline the alternatives or make any meaningful comparisons, i.e. comparisons with other music servers rather than CD and SACD players.

I also hope that RG is right and someone comes up with a similar piece of software for a more reasonable price, like free

bifcake
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Re: Sooloos Review

TAS did a review of the Sooloos in their December issue (I think). They did a much better job of explaining the features and complexities of the software.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
I wonder how long it will take the Sooloos folks to rethink the switching power supply...the weakest link...if there really is one.

You can see the switching power supply in the photo I just posted to the gallery of the Source:One's interior, Jim: http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/1714 . I doubt that there would be room to replace it with a linear power supply capable of supplying sufficient current.


Quote:
I might argue over the price, but even an old guy like me thinks that the Sooloos is a very sweet device.

Me too. I loved using it when I had it in my test lab.


Quote:
I am curious as to why we are not seeing more FireWire outputs on this type of digital audio gear? This is an important part of the pro audio markets for interfaces.

I think it is purely down to the fact that it costs significantly more in licensing fees for a manufacturer to incorporate Firewire rather than USB2.0. This is why you are seeing more standalone hard drives that only have USB2.0.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Sooloos Review

I don't recall JI mentioning any noise issues from the boxes themselves...like we experience with pc fan noise. I was thinking a stand alone power supply with a long power cord for remote lacating to keep noise in another room.

To me, the power supply issues would not really bother me. I can see some audiophiles spending $10K wanting nothing showing up on the graph, whether they could hear it or not.

Thanks for the reply. Regards.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
I also hope that RG is right and someone comes up with a similar piece of software for a more reasonable price, like free

When they do, we highrollers will be the early adopters!

RG

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:

Quote:
I am curious as to why we are not seeing more FireWire outputs on this type of digital audio gear? This is an important part of the pro audio markets for interfaces.

I think it is purely down to the fact that it costs significantly more in licensing fees for a manufacturer to incorporate Firewire rather than USB2.0. This is why you are seeing more standalone hard drives that only have USB2.0.


Interestingly Apple charges no licensing fee for using the Firewire logo or using its implementation of the 1394 IEEE serial interface. You do have to execute a licensing agreement however.

My guess is that USB is preferred over Firewire at the moment because Firewire was developed later and does not have the near ubiquity that USB enjoys.

There is a lot of Fireiwire devices however and they appear to me to be the preferred format for new items.

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Re: Sooloos Review

It's all about the name. USB is fairly neutral sounding, almost like the friendly UPS man. Firewire is hard sounding and I for one don't anything with the word "fire" in it's name anywhere near my computer unless it's a got it's also got the word "extinguisher" as part of it's name.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
I don't recall JI mentioning any noise issues from the boxes themselves...like we experience with pc fan noise. I was thinking a stand alone power supply with a long power cord for remote lacating to keep noise in another room.

He didn't but I did: "First, although the hard-drive-based Store:One is fan-free and fairly quiet, it

struts
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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:
I was thinking a stand alone power supply with a long power cord for remote lacating to keep noise in another room.


I was thinking the exact same thing. Almost. Speedreading let me down as usual and I misread this as "I was thinking a standalone power supply with a long power cord for remote lactating to keep noise in another room."

Anyone with a young baby and a nursing partner would know just what you mean; "express" takes on a whole new meaning. And it can be very distracting in the more suspenseful passages of Eugene Onedin. "Hey honey, I love you dearly but can't you plug in the long power cord and go do that in another room?". A compelling argument for headphone listening.

I know what you're thinking, this is very worrying. I shall seek counseling.

Happy Birthday Jim!

jazzfan
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Re: Sooloos Review

Struts,

That is easily one of the funniest posts I have ever seen. Although my two daughters are both in their early 20s I can still recall all the fun and games of breast feeding. Taking my memory of a typical scene and adding in the images you described had me in stitches. Thanks for the good laugh.

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Jim T - the HD was in fact too noisy just to run in the room, so I put it in a sealed cabinet with cooling. Later I moved it to a remote closet using wifi, and then just wired it with Cat5 when I had the time. BTW, my Store had a fan which is what made the noise, but the power supply was dead quiet.

struts
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Re: Sooloos Review

Yes, I was laughing too as I imagined the scene chez Tavegia. This is simply crying out for the Jeff Wong treatment; as Elk would say, this thread is meaningless without pictures.

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Re: Sooloos Review


Quote:

And I still think that I can have this thing written for $7k.

Try. Go ahead. Hire a professional. Try. Good luck. At the factory, we full time hired (over 4 years ago) the programing duo from a local solutions development firm.

It costs less than the software development would have cost. By a factor of 3. Minimum.

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